Marty Nemko, a National Public Radio (NPR) host, offered the following “traffic light” strategy for maintaining a listener’s attention:
- Green Light. The listener likes us for the first 20 seconds, provided we’re on point.
- Yellow Light. The listener begins to lose interest at 30 seconds and wonders how long-winded we are going to be.
- Red Light. The listener has completely lost interest and attention at 40 seconds, and we’re now talking to ourselves.
You’re Only Communicating if They’re Listening!
For fun, use the timer on your phone to see how much you can say in just 20 seconds. It goes by quickly. However, practice makes perfect. The more concise we get, the more productive we are.